out of control sexual behavior

What is out of control sexual behavior?

Out of control sexual behavior

Out of control sexual behavior can be described as any unwanted sexual thoughts, actions or compulsions that are difficult to control and cause suffering and pain in a person’s life.

The idea of out of control sexual behavior can look different for different people.  It’s important to explore what is causing the suffering or pain. Are the unwanted behaviors or thoughts causing distress because of some kind of internalized homophobia or shame? Are other people being hurt in the process?

Sex addiction vs. out of control sexual behavior

Some people refer to out of control sexual behavior as “sex addiction.” There is a 12-Step program called Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) that provides support for some people. However, there is no one-size fits all approach to working with sexual compulsion. Especially for those of us in the LGBTQ community, it can be dangerous to label our sexual activity in a negative way.  More than likely we’ve already had to combat judgment around our sexuality for most of our lives.

The behavior

Some examples of how out of control sexual behavior can look include:

  • Sexually acting out in a monogamous relationship
  • Lying or covering up sexual activity
  • Porn use that is causing distress
  • Using hook-up apps and feeling bad or guilty afterward
  • Having risky sexual encounters
  • Using drugs and sex in a way that feels dissatisfying

It’s very important to remember that behavior that is problematic for one person may not be for someone else. Sexuality is unique, important, vital and deserves to be celebrated. However, sometimes certain behaviors can cause problems in your life if not regulated or controlled. If that is the case for you, there are options for understanding and changing certain behaviors.

How I work with out of control sexual behavior

As with any behavior that you want to change, I believe it’s important to become curious about the feelings or triggers that influence the behavior.

I strive to create a non-judgmental space where we can explore the causes and brainstorm solutions together. Self-compassion and kindness are key ingredients in changing any unwanted, problematic behavior.

We’ll begin by taking a look at the series of decisions and actions that have brought you into my office. From there, we can collaborate on putting together a list of resources and tools you can use to change the unwanted behavior.

Hopefully, through the process of getting to know more about yourself you will become more comfortable with your own sexuality and develop a stronger sense of self-compassion.

Tom Bruett

Tom Bruett

Tom Bruett, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist with an office in San Francisco, CA. Tom feels passionately about helping people have better relationships. The purpose of this blog is not to provide advice or to take the place of working with a mental health professional. For more information please visit the homepage.